Judge must now decide if former Cedar Rapids mayor gets back in Governor's race

Former Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett speaks to reporters following a court hearing in Des...
Former Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett speaks to reporters following a court hearing in Des Moines. Corbett is asking a district judge to overturn a state panel ruling that kicked him off the Republican primary ballot.(KCRG)
Published: Apr. 3, 2018 at 3:43 PM CDT
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It's now up to a judge in Polk County whether or not former Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett gets back on the Republican primary ballot.

Last week, a three-member state election panel ruled that Corbett had fallen eight signatures short of the 4,005 names needed on a nominating petition to get on the ballot for Governor.

Corbett immediately filed for an appeal to a district court judge vowing to leave politics, for now, if the ruling went against him.

On Tuesday, Polk District Judge David May heard the arguments for and against putting Corbett back on the Republican ballot for the June 5th primary.

In court, Corbett's attorneys argued that Corbett's election staff had crossed out some valid signatures in the mistaken belief there was a problem.

Attorney Pat Sealey told the judge, "a substantial candidate like Ron Corbett deserves to be on the ballot."

But Mark Weinhardt, an attorney representing the election board, said it comes down to a simple concept. Rules are rules. And if election rules say Corbett needed 4,005 signatures for a valid petition then the decision should be clear.

"Rules that apply to candidates for Governor were not met by Corbett," he said.

Later, Corbett repeated a claim he made last week that establishment politicians had conspired to knock him out of the race.

The judge did not say when he would rule but county auditors need the information soon to prepare primary ballots for early voting.

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